A BROTHERHOOD of St Brendan's boys will begin the school year under a new motto, and guidance of principal Robert Corboy.
"Big paddock, strong fences" both metaphorically and physically describes College's enormous 300-acre campus, which this year welcomes 200 students in boarding and a day student population in excess of 420.
The new mantra comes as a strong message from Mr Corboy, who today begins his appointment as the Yeppoon boarding school's 15th principal.
Mr Corboy said he had been humbled by the "sacred responsibility" boarding parents bestowed upon them, in entrusting their child to the college for care, nurturing and education.
His former appointment as principal of Abergowrie College near Townsville follows an 11-year stint as Acting Deputy Principal and Head of Boarding at Marist Brothers Ashgrove.
His experience has forged a strong understanding as an educator of boys.
"My firm belief is they should be given the opportunity to express themselves, with space to grow as good young men with strong minds and gentle hearts, while knowing there are clear boundaries in place and high expectations for each student who is a member of the College community," Mr Corboy said.
"Boys respond very well to the 'big paddocks' which allows them to express who they are, yet knowing where the firm boundaries lay, with our fences built on principles of fairness, responsibility and the common good which are the hallmarks of a St Brendan's College education.
"I have been aware of St Brendan's College throughout my career as a wonderful example of social justice in action, with a strong boarding school, and a beautiful spirit and charism and am extremely humbled by the welcome the College and local community have given me since arriving in Yeppoon.
"I will work to ensure the Edmund Rice charter lays the foundation for all our endeavours at the College - providing a liberating education, inclusive community, gospel spirituality and justice and solidarity."
Mr Corboy said they did not replace family, "but offer a home away from home".
"And the brotherhood and belonging of a new St Brendan's College family when they arrive, and I look forward to supporting this in action," he said.
Mr Corboy said the success of any community is built on relationships, and he looked forward to meeting the day parents, and travelling to the rural and regional areas to meet and catch up with boarding families as soon as he could.
He said he was encouraged by the increase in boarding numbers, and students and families who had taken advantage of a new, discounted weekly boarding option.
"It has been an attractive option, so students can take full advantage of the academic and extra-curricular offering of the college during the week and return home on weekends; and we've had families from Yeppoon, Rockhampton, Gracemere and even further afield take up this option," he said.
St Brendan's College is a leading choice for boys' education in Central Queensland; a Catholic day and boarding School in the Edmund Rice tradition catering for young men from Years 7 to 12.